October 1, 2017, by Jake Hodder

Recent Call for Papers

As part of the grant we’ve recently issued two call for papers. The first, ‘Geographies of Sensory Politics’, is for a session at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers in New Orleans next April. It will give us the chance to explore one of the important conceptual and methodological concerns of the project, namely what role sensory experiences (taste, touch, sound, smell, etc) played in the development of internationalism, and how we can reconstruct these historically.  The second, ‘Historical Geographies of International Conferences’, is for a session at the International Conference of Historical Geographers, which meets triennially (having met in previously in London in 2015), to be held in Warsaw, Poland, next July. Although the session aligns with our specific empirical work, we have sought to pitch it broadly, inviting papers concerned with conferences from any period or place, as well as papers which explore the wider geographies and infrastructures on which conferences depend.  Both call for papers are listed below:


Geographies of Sensory Politics, AAG Annual Meeting, New Orleans, April 10-14, 2018

In these panels we hope to explore, in as broad a geographical sense as possible, the sensory aspects of politics: how is politics sensed, intuited or divined; what are the multi-sensory registers through which political agendas are communicated; how are spaces crafted to create political atmospheres; how are bodies disciplined to fit political spaces; how are bodies used to reject the disciplining efforts of political spaces; how do the senses disrupt political conduct and representation; and what are the challenges to reconstructing them historically?

We welcome papers reflecting on the methodological or philosophical challenges involved in researching the senses, or which challenge the category of senses itself; which attempt to communicate the range of tastes, sounds, smells, sights and feelings, accessed through accounts and depictions of the food, music, dress, aesthetics and other cultural aspects that shape political events or places; or which explore the sensory tactics of political operators in particular times and places. We are keen to invite studies of both contemporary and historical geographies, whether using the period and place to focus ‘in’ on particular sensory environments, or using a particular sensory encounter or site to focus ‘out’ on a political context (for instance internationalism, imperialism, neoliberalism, feudalism, militarism).

[The deadline for submissions was 18th September 2017]


Historical Geographies of International Conferences, ICHG, Warsaw, July 15-20, 2018

Although the birth of the modern international conference is commonly dated to the Congress of Westphalia (1648), from the mid-19th century conferences became a permanent feature of international life as a host of new spaces emerged which supplemented and supplanted traditional geographies of diplomacy and foreign relations. These included the large, set-piece events involving politicians and diplomats – such as the Congresses of Vienna (1815), Paris (1856), Berlin (1878), and the Conference of Berlin (1884-85) – but also meetings of scientists, technicians, missionaries, experts, campaigners, intellectuals and activists who sought to respond to the challenges and possibilities of an increasingly interconnected world: how to manage telecommunications; how to map moral regulation on to international trade; how to spread the faith, the word, and the practice of one belief (over another); how to have a shared measure of time and or space across this globe; and how to produce disciplines sophisticated enough to comprehend this new world? These conferences often negotiated the political landscape of their time without being explicitly political themselves. In the 20th century the frequency, scale and scope of international conferences have expanded considerably, shaped by new international imperatives associated with peace, decolonisation, environmentalism, and by the emergence of formal, organising bodies such as the League of Nations, the British Commonwealth and the United Nations that codified the practices and procedures of international conferences.

This session addresses both conferences themselves (their topics and subject matter, their institutions), and the wider geographies and infrastructures on which they depended. How were towns, cities, and regions materially transformed by the increasing intensity and scale of conference events?  How were they shaped by the venues, hotels, bars, clubs, and salons in which they were enacted? How were they influenced by the workforce of translators, organisers, printers, map makers, and tour operators who depended on them? We welcome papers across all of these themes including studies of individual conferences from any period and place, whether political or technical, religious or secular, academic or business oriented; as well as those which explore the development of conferencing as an industry or practice more broadly.

[The deadline for submissions was 25th September 2017]



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